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Life for white author and his black namesake in segregated Southside was a study in contrasts

Halifax County IDA holds off grant request for industry prospect

Flotilla clean-up on Banister River postponed to Oct. 20


Comets open district play




The Odd Couple presents the Latin brothers

REALLY ODD COUPLE: Sharing the spotlight in Little Theatre's production of The Odd Couple are Kirk Compton and Berkley Priest as the Constazuela brothers. These Latin lovers pursue the title characters in Neil Simon's classic comedy about mismatched roommates. The show opens Nov. 20 for a two weekend run. / November 04, 2009
By Greg Donner
Special to the News & Record

With the coming of winter, many people are interested in any opportunity to get a good laugh. It boosts the spirits and helps fight off the doldrums of the season. If that is the case with you, then Halifax County Little Theatre has the cure for what ails you.

This Thanksgiving season, they are performing The Odd Couple (Female Version) by Neil Simon. The production is an updating of Simon’s most popular comedy, with the gender roles reversed. The comic moments are the same, and audiences will be completely involved in the antics of two single women who should never try to share a space as small as a New York Apartment.

As with the original, one of the funniest scenes of the play involves an evening of misguided involvement with the opposite sex. The two Latin lovers are played with great humor by Berkley Priest and Kirk Compton. The local products are showing that small town boys can provide big time laughs.

The first Spanish neighbor is played by Priest, who is using many years of experience gained in New York and Los Angeles while pursuing an acting career. He decided to pursue a law career instead and now serves as an attorney in Halifax. He says he is happy he was enticed back to the stage and so far the experience has been enjoyable. He notes that the character is so “sleazy” that it allows him to use his “whole bag of tricks” to create a personality that is very over the top.

Priest is pleased that his part is not overly large so it enables him to have a lot of fun while he gets to “take a break from reality.” He adds, “It’s a female show, dealing with female relationships, so I think it’s our job just to come in and give the audience a little break from the estrogen!” He hopes that audiences will enjoy his performance as much as he is enjoying doing it.

Joining Priest on stage is his neighbor Kirk Compton. Compton has become a mainstay back stage for local productions and has appeared in several over the years. Compton is pleased to be working with Priest and says, “It’s a treat to match
the energy, experience, and comic timing that Berkley brings to the table. I
learn something new from him each time we’re on stage together.” He also has a great admiration for the female leads, who make it easy to step in as a supporting character.

In addition to playing a memorable character, Compton is assuming the role of co-producer of the play and is assisting in several other capacities. He thinks that working so closely with director Dena Greene and the production planning has given him a deeper understanding of the characters. He notes that he has “been living with this script for a long time.”

These two fine actors are working to make Simon’s characters come to life on the Prizery stage. They should give audiences a good laugh and something to talk about on the way home. The show opens Friday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m.. in the Prizery’s Chastain Theatre.

Additional shows are planned for Nov. 22, 27, and 28 at the same time, with matinees set for Nov. 22 and 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the Prizery box office. Special box office hours are set Monday through Thursday evenings from 5-7 p.m. throughout the run of the show and two hours before each performance.

Now is the time also to purchase season tickets for all of Little Theatre’s season of “Forget Your Troubles, Come on Get Happy.” Season brochures can be picked up at the Prizery or at the public libraries. Plan to be happy, and make “The Odd Couple” part of your holiday fun.

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